“I am a very patient person. I didn’t tell myself that it absolutely has to happen. I was like, “maybe it will never be, maybe in a few years, or maybe I’ll win tomorrow”. And finally it happened when I had the most detached from this result finally ”, smiles Simon Desthieux, when we talk with him about his first individual victory, on March 6, 2021, on the Nove Mesto sprint.
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And if for many, the word “finally” resonated in the heads. Because “finally”, the biathlete of Ain climbed on the highest step of the podium. For Simon Desthieux, winning has never been an end in itself. “People talk to me about it often, but I have never experienced it as a frustration. On the contrary, I would say that as long as I did not realize my dream, I had this desire to go further in my career. If I had won in my first year in the World Cup, maybe I would have quit already. Because I would have missed this faith and this desire to go get that ”, admits the biathlete who will celebrate his 30th birthday on December 3.
“If I had won in my first year, maybe I would have already quit”
So without pretense, whether it’s a podium, a flower ceremony, or a Top 10, Desthieux relished being placed. For four years, he has always been in the top nine in the general classification at the end of the season. And that is not given to everyone. “Sometimes between a third place in the snatch and a nice fifth place, that doesn’t change much. I have always found my satisfaction in my consistency, in the fact of always being there, placed, always good. We have a difficult sport and it’s hard to be placed, we quickly went beyond the 30e, 40e place. »
Young father, Simon Desthieux saw his summer “upset” by the arrival of his son, Jules. © Ouest-France
Simon is a quiet boy, who doesn’t often show his emotions, especially when racing. But when he mentions the arrival of his son, Jules, who has come “Upset training habits a bit”he can’t hide his big smile and the pride in his eyes. With his partner Célia Aymonier, also a former biathlete, they have always found their balance by occupying their daily lives with something other than… biathlon.
Passionate about DIY, carpentry, “It comes to me from very handy grandfathers. It’s addictive, we attack with a little trick then we take ideas from everywhere and we evolve by doing more and more ”, Desthieux sometimes finds winter long, in its hotel rooms in the four corners of Europe or the world. “In winter, I read, watch films. I am also very curious, I like to watch tutorials on Youtube and get ideas of things to do when I get home. I like to learn about how things are done. How to create ”, says the active man.
The native of the country Simon Desthieux has always found the association between shooting and cross-country skiing “beautiful”. This is what brought him to biathlon. © Ouest-France
Nature lover too, this is also what pushed him to biathlon at a younger age, because after adopting cross-country skiing with his family, then during outings with school, the native of Belley passionate about this association with shooting. “I have always found it beautiful, he emphasizes. But I was not immediately selected in the regional team. I was given my chance, even if I was not among the best of my generation in the Ain committee, then it was done little by little ”. There again he knew how to be patient. And patience is good for Simon.
“I have forged myself in relay”
In 2018, he was crowned Olympic champion in the mixed relay. The most beautiful of medals, with friends: Martin Fourcade, Anaïs Bescond and Marie Dorin-Habert. And for Simon, having won first in the relay is ultimately quite a symbol. “I was forged and built by relays. I learned to manage situations, to find myself alone in the lead with a little lead, to play for the win. It is a real strength to be able to rely on a team. The Games relay is unmatched, the fact of sharing it with a whole team remains in memory. “ A rich and beautiful experience that he dreams of reliving this winter in Beijing.
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But now, the experienced Simon is setting his sights on a completely different favorite format: sprinting. “It’s a race against oneself, I find myself there a lot. It also conditions the rest of the week with the pursuit, the places in the relays. This is the benchmark race. “ It will also remain the benchmark of his first victory. Before winning the race of kings – the Mass Start in Östersund – to end his season in the most beautiful way.
” Now ? Obviously I want to continue the momentum of the second half of last season. That is to say, regularly getting on the podium, winning. And, inevitably, to perform well at the Games. Go get medals. A title would be the culmination of a career. “ Simon Desthieux has waited long enough. Now is the time to reap the successes, but always keeping in mind to be consistent throughout the winter.